Africa Today https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/aft <p><em>Africa Today</em>&nbsp;(ISSN&nbsp;0001-9887, e-ISSN 1527-1978)&nbsp;publishes peer-reviewed, scholarly articles and book reviews in a broad range of academic disciplines on topics related to contemporary Africa. We seek to be a venue for interdisciplinary approaches, diverse perspectives, and original research in the humanities and social sciences. This includes work on social, cultural, political, historical, and economic subjects. Recent special issues have been on topics such as the future of African artistic practices, the socio-cultural life of bus stations in Africa, and family-based health care in Ghana. <em>Africa Today</em> has been on the forefront of African Studies research since 1954. Please read our <a title="Submission Guidelines" href="https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/aft/about/submissions">Submission Guidelines</a> and contact the Managing Editor or any of the editors with additional questions you might have about publishing in&nbsp;<em>Africa Today</em>.</p> <p>The journal is published quarterly in winter, spring, summer, and fall by Indiana University Press, Office of Scholarly Publishing, Herman B Wells Library 350, 1320 E. 10th St., Bloomington, IN 47405-3907.</p> <p>To view current and past issues, visit&nbsp;<em>Africa Today</em>&nbsp;on&nbsp;<a href="http://www.jstor.org/journal/africatoday">JSTOR</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://muse.jhu.edu/journal/19">Project MUSE</a>.</p> Indiana University Press en-US Africa Today 0001-9887 Avoided family care, diverted intimacy: How people with HIV find new kinship in two Ghanaian hospitals https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/aft/article/view/1293 <p>This article discusses a shift to care outside the family and questions how this is linked to external and internal processes of change. The stigma attached to HIV/AIDS in Ghana induces infected people to hide their condition from the family and seek help from professionals and fellow sufferers, without the knowledge of the family. In this paper we describe this process through the examples of two Ghanaian communities and two hospitals. In the hospital people with HIV/AIDS find new ‘relatives’ in other people with HIV/AIDS, volunteers and health workers to whom they divulge their secret and discuss their problems. ‘Strangers’ thus become safer and more trusted care-givers than family members. The paper describes in detail how this development precludes the practice of family care.</p> Sjaak van der Geest Jonathan Mensah Dapaah Benjamin Kobina Kwansa ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-13 2019-05-13 65 3 FROM ENTITLEMENTS TO DEPRIVATIONS: BABY CARE IN GLOBALIZING GHANA https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/aft/article/view/1294 <p>Evidence spanning several decades indicates how many infants endure deprivation and hunger, instead of being supremely entitled persons, darlings of their families. The levels of under-five malnutrition, recorded, in well-off, as well as poor households, provide unhappy evidence of this fact. Institutional transformations, implicated in these babies’ failure to thrive, are indicated in particular changes occurring in traditional systems of kinship and marriage affecting mothers’ and other carers’ roles and relationships. These findings are considered in the context of state policies, international pronouncements and global trends. Implications for practitioners, policy makers and academics are noted, including the need for greater attention to transformations occurring in multiple gender roles and familial care, in a globalizing world, and their implications for human capital formation and human development. </p> Christine Oppong ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-13 2019-05-13 65 3 Beyond Kin Care? Institutional Facilities in the Imaginations of Older Presbyterians in Southern Ghana https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/aft/article/view/1299 <p>In rural towns of Ghana’s Eastern Region, older adults express curiosity about Western facilities for older people such as care homes—where older adults reside permanently—and senior day programs—where older adults come for the day for activities and meals. Based on focus group discussions with members of fellowship groups organized by the Presbyterian Church and casual conversations with older people, this paper argues that aging is a site of cultural innovation; in this case, ideas and practices imported from abroad, like care homes, are reworked in local imaginaries to speak to local concerns, including a critique of the state. Supporting James Ferguson’s recent argument that new social welfare practices and rights are gaining traction in Africa, this paper illustrates how older adults in Ghana are articulating a vision of a caring nation, as they confront the aging process and cope with changing aging trajectories and intergenerational reciprocities.</p><br clear="all" /><p> </p> Cati Coe ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-13 2019-05-13 65 3 ‘It is left to me and my God’: Precarity, responsibility and social change in family care for people with mental illness in Ghana https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/aft/article/view/1291 <p>It has been argued that family care contributes to better outcomes for severe mental illness in Africa and family care is championed as an alternative to institutional treatment. However poor households are experiencing increasing precarity under global economic changes which can be exacerbated by chronic illness. This paper draws on an ethnographic study in Ghana to explore how families negotiate the tension between the moral imperative to provide care and the challenges of daily life with severe mental illness. Changes in family life, household costs and migration can threaten the ability to meet the needs of a severely ill relative and fulfil social ideals of solidarity and responsibility. Such challenges raise questions for the viability of community-based models of mental health care in low-resource settings.</p> Ursula Mary Read Solomon Nyame ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-13 2019-05-13 65 3 Intimacy, morality and precarity: Transformations in family care in Africa - insights from Ghana. Introduction to the Special Issue https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/aft/article/view/1290 <p>With the rise of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cancer, as well as increased longevity, the role of the family in care is of increasing importance to health policy and interventions globally. In low-income settings in sub-Saharan Africa, where health and welfare systems are under-resourced, ‘task-shifting’ to community health workers, volunteers and family members is proposed to fill the gaps. However migration, urbanisation and widening social inequality have had a profound effect on household structure and the capacity for care. This special issue focuses on Ghana, a country which exemplifies these processes. The contributing papers examine the impact of social, structural and economic changes on practices of family care for a variety of conditions across the life course in urban and rural locations.</p> Ursula Mary Read Sjaak van der Geest ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-13 2019-05-13 65 3 The Politics of State Welfare Expansion in Africa https://scholarworks.iu.edu/iupjournals/index.php/aft/article/view/2255 <p>After years of military rule, Ghana returned to democratic governance in January 1993. Since then the country has consolidated its democracy, evidenced by seven successive general elections, three alternations of power, and institutional actors using the ‘rules of the game,’ to pressure elected officials to influence policy development and implementation. This article examines the passage of a massive state expansion of welfare legislation in 2003, the National Health Insurance Law (Act 650). I argue that not only was health care reform a salient issue in the 2000 general elections, the new law was the result of civil society and citizen pressure on the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to fulfil its campaign promise to overhaul the country’s broken health care system. This article contributes to the literature on the welfare state from the developing world, which presently is mostly focused on Latin America and Asia.</p> Hassan Wahab ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-05-13 2019-05-13 65 3